Thinning & fine hair in men

Introduction

Over time, it's not uncommon for men to notice that their hair is thinning, particularly in certain specific areas of the scalp where the hair is increasingly sparse. For some men, thinning hair can start very early, as early as puberty, and it's important to spot the signs. first signs in order to take control as quickly as possible. For others, the baldness process is slower and therefore more insidious. While there is currently no 'miracle product' to combat thinning hair, there are plenty of solutions to stimulate hair growth. hair keratin in good health. It is also possible to use "camouflage" solutions ranging from the mildest (texturising spray) to the most invasive (surgery). Let's take a look at them together.

10 tips for treating thinning hair in men

Thinning hair and hair loss in men are first and foremost consequences of the body's natural ageing process. Biological cycles slow down (this is inevitable). But in the case of hair, this ageing process can be considerably accelerated by other factors, foremost among which is the receptivity of our hair to the environment. hair follicles to the action of male hormones. This androgenetic type of hair loss affects men in particular (sometimes as early as the age of 20), and is often resented, so it's worth taking a closer look.

On this site, we have explained the mechanisms, described the warning signs and detailed the solutions to be implemented. There's just one objective: to put a stop to this baldness that we think is inevitable but isn't.

For those of us who are experiencing the appearance of increasingly thinning hair on certain areas of the scalp, we'll talk here about how to cover up the areas concerned. We'll also look at the various methods commonly recommended to try and revitalise hair growth in men, the products and treatments usually prescribed to treat thinning hair and, of course, solutions aimed at improving the appearance and density of hair on the scalp.

The most common tips for covering thinning hair

To cover areas where hair is already thinning, or parts of your skull that have suffered from hair loss, here are the aesthetic tips you should follow first:

1. Adopt a hair supplement

A hair prosthesis (or volumizer) can cover larger or smaller areas of the skull. These hair supplements can be used to completely cover areas with alopecia or thinning hair. What's more, these hair supplements can be made from natural hair, so they match your hair's natural characteristics (colour, thickness, implantation) quite closely. When well done, they are not as 'visible' as the wigs of yesteryear. However, it should be noted that most of these hair prostheses are fixed in different ways. Depending on lifestyle, they can be fixed with adhesives, which means they can be removed every evening to allow the scalp to breathe, but more often than not, glue is recommended for a renewable 3-week period. Be careful with this technique, which can lead to skin problems and an enlargement of the thinning area in the long term.

2. Use scalp sprays

This practice seems to be on the increase. The idea is to use a spray that contains dyes corresponding to the colour of your hair, and to apply these dyes directly to the skin of your scalp. After application, the contrast between the natural colour of the skin of your scalp and the colour of your hair will be considerably reduced. As a result, the areas affected by hair loss or thinning hair will be visually less noticeable, with the skin of the scalp - after application of the spray - having a colour close to that of your hair. Although this is purely visual, as the density of the hair is not altered, it does give the impression that the hair is less thinned.

3. Change your hairstyle

Hairdressers often come up with ingenious hairstyles and looks to visibly reduce baldness. The best known is the so-called "Pompadour" hairstyle. This hairstyle is named after Madame de Pompadour, favourite of King Louis XV. It's a technique that involves raising the hair above the forehead, sometimes from the sides, to bring it down towards the back of the head. Since the 18th century, this hairstyling technique has evolved with the times and fashion. The (admittedly somewhat caricatured) examples that spring to mind are the hairstyles of James Dean, Elvis Presley and Donald Trump. But hairdressers, those artists of hair shaping, will be able to offer you a hairstyle inspired by this technique but which is both contemporary and effective in masking your thinning hair.   

Scalp and medical treatments

So we're going to look at these "solutions" in detail, from the simplest, which are essentially aimed at preventing falls or stimulating growth, to the most complicated (surgical interventions).

4. Massaging the scalp

Massage the scalp stimulates micro-circulation and therefore provides the hair follicles with the nutrients they need to produce hair fibre and therefore grow hair.

This solution has the advantage of being completely natural. However, there are 2 pitfalls to be avoided.

The first is that massaging does not mean rubbing. The idea is to apply the fingertips to the skull and move (mobilise) the skin of the scalp in relation to the bones of the skull, without ever rubbing the scalp. 

The second mistake not to make: massaging during the shampoo. Shampoos are products designed and formulated to wash the hair, not the scalp. Massaging during shampooing will have the opposite effect to that intended: rather than being stimulated, the hair follicles will be attacked by the detergents!

5. Massages with the addition of essential oils

Essential oils have been used and known since ancient times to promote hair growth, strengthen hair follicles, cleanse the scalp and combat hair loss, particularly in men.

The best known is lavender essential oil (Lavendula Augustifolia). This essential oil is considered to be generally well-tolerated by the skin and recognised as 'safe' for the body. It is above all its 'anti androgenic' properties that have been demonstrated and which interest us here. These properties make it potentially very interesting for combating thinning hair in men: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30000925/

Warning: like all essential oils, lavender essential oil can cause allergies. Before applying it to your skull, we recommend a simple test: place a drop of essential oil in the crook of your elbow and cover with a plaster. If you feel a tingling sensation within a few minutes, remove the plaster and rinse with clean water. Even if you don't feel a tingling sensation following application, keep this "test patch" for 24 hours before removing the plaster. If you notice any redness, rinse with clean water. In both cases (immediate tingling or redness after 24 hours), this means that your skin is allergic to this essential oil. So don't apply it to your scalp.

If there are no allergies, you can try massaging the essential oil into your scalp. However, never apply it undiluted, but always incorporated into a neutral oil or diluted with a little water to avoid overloading the scalp with greasy substances.

It should be noted, however, that certain essential oils (including lavender) are thought to have very favourable properties for improving the quality of the hair fibre and would be beneficial treatments for hair growth. However, this has never been demonstrated in clinical studies.

6. Massages with Clauderer serums

If we recommend Clauderer serums in combination with a specific scalp massage (see Massages to stimulate hair growth), it's because their beneficial effect on the growth and regrowth of healthy hair has been demonstrated since the very first in vitro tests, scientific study carried out by the University of Medicine in Besançon. Thanks to their composition (essential oils, vitamins and other plant extracts acting in synergy), Clauderer serums help to restore the hair's normal life cycle. A normal life cycle allows hair to reach maturity: capillary degradation is halted and hair no longer becomes thinner.

7. Vitamin supplements

The aim of vitamin supplements is to provide hair follicles with the nutrients they may be lacking in order to produce hair fibre normally. The most commonly recommended supplements combine iron, folic acid, Group B vitamins, zinc...

These supplements however, in our experience, they are insufficient on their own. On the other hand, they are very often useful as an adjunct to genuine local skin care, but are rarely used on their own.

8. Minoxidil

Well-known to all, the Minoxidil is the drug most widely prescribed by doctors to combat alopecia.

Unlike ingested vitamin supplements, this is a 'topical' treatment, which means it is applied directly to the skin of the scalp.

Let's look back at the history of this drug. Minoxidil was first tested as an antihypertensive drug. Surprisingly, a very significant side effect was hypertrichosis, i.e. a significant increase in hair growth in general, including in unexpected and unwanted areas. Hence the idea of incorporating this molecule into a topical treatment and applying it directly to the scalp.

A meta-analysis (analysis summarising previous clinical studies) was published in August 2019 by independent experts (Journal Drug design, development and therapy) experts declaring that they had no conflicts of interest (scientific article in English, published by Bangkok Medical University, Thailand): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6691938/

The main conclusions of this meta-analysis are as follows:

  1. The mechanism of action of minoxidil on hair growth remains unknown to this day.
  2. Minoxidil at 5% has been shown to be effective in androgenetic-type alopecia.
  3. The peak of this efficacy is reached after 1 year's application of the treatment to the scalp, at a rate of 2 applications of 1 ml per day.
  4. The two most frequently reported side-effects are headaches and dermatitis.

The main disadvantage of minoxidil is that it has to be applied every day, twice a day. As soon as you stop applying it, its effect falls back to zero, and your hair returns to the way it was before (severe hair loss, heavy loss of density). It's important to take these factors into account before embarking on this path. 

9. Other medicines

Some doctors prescribe other treatments.

Finasteride: This drug is thought to help reduce the ability to transform testosterone into the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is responsible for premature hair loss. This drug is highly controversial, particularly because of its potentially disabling side effects.

Laser therapy, mesotherapy, PHP...: your doctor may suggest these local treatments. Note that no clinical study has demonstrated their effectiveness in correcting thinning hair.

10. Hair transplants

This is, of course, a last resort.

Techniques have certainly evolved considerably in recent years. However, we advise you to consult several doctors before embarking on these costly and time-consuming operations, as the results can be unpredictable and disappoint you.

What causes thinning hair?

This important topic is described on our website: Alopecia: causes, consequences and solutions

In a few words:

Our hair grows from hair follicles located under the skin of the scalp.

Each follicle "produces" one hair at a time (rarely two).

Each hair grows about 1 centimetre a month for 3 to 7 years (this is the anagen phase).

At the end of this growth phase, the hair follicle cuts the hair off from its blood supply, gradually pushing this "old" hair back towards the surface of the scalp (catagen phase).

The old hair eventually falls out and the follicle produces a new hair (telogen phase). The natural cycle starts again.

When all goes well, this cycle renews itself indefinitely, with each hair that falls out being replaced by a hair of the same strength. So there's no loss of density!

This biological process, which prevents baldness and ensures good hair growth, is in fact a highly precise mechanism involving a huge number of interactions, signals and proteins...

Like any complex process, it is fragile.

Its main enemies are

First and foremost, the sensitivity of hair follicles to the activity of male hormones, especially in men. Depending on our heredity, our hair follicles are more or less sensitive to this highly damaging factor. A real elephant in a china shop if you let it!

Other factors may also come into play:

  • Stress chronicle
  • Short episodes of intense stress (such as bereavement, moving house, romantic break-up...)
  • Iron deficiency
  • Deregulation of the thyroid
  • Drastic diet leading to significant weight loss

Here is a summary of some advice on how to deal with the appearance of thinning hair:

For many men, losing their hair is a painful experience.

Of course, our first recommendation is to seek advice without delay. And to put in place a natural care without side effects or dependence. In most cases, the process of hair loss will be halted. It will often be reversed, resulting in increased density, normalising hair loss and stimulating hair growth (see here).

You can also try a new hairstyle to mask the thinning areas of your head. However, this won't solve the problem in the long term - your hair will continue to weaken and the thinning areas of your head will continue to grow.

How can I hide my thinning hair?

The simplest method is to apply a spray that will colour your scalp and so reduce the contrast between the colour of your skin and the colour of your hair, making thinning hair less visible. The other method is to adopt a hairstyle that raises the hair at the front of the head and then pulls it back.

How do I treat thinning hair?

There are many strategies available. Natural (scalp massages, essential oils), medicinal (such as the application of Minoxidil) and surgical (hair transplants). These strategies all produce results. Sometimes disappointing. We therefore recommend watching out for warning signs and consulting a specialist as soon as they appear.

Jean-François Cabos

Jean-François Cabos is the creator of a unique hair care method based on the research he coordinated, which led to the publication of the book "Cheveux, Racines de Vie" with Hélène Clauderer by Robert Laffont (Collection "Réponses/ Santé").

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *